** If you are reading this on mangafox, 1/3 no Kareshi is found separately and not part of Suki ni Naru Made Matte.
**Uso to Koi no Hajimari can be found only in Koibana (done separately from Suki ni Naru Made Matte) as part of a collection, again if you're looking on mangafox.
First off the art is amazing. The stylization and the detail is commendable and marks the expression of a true artist. The stories are refreshing even though at times they fall back into some cliched elements. It was fun to read this mangaka's work and she's definitely earned a position on my favorite people list (she's definitely kicking butt and turning into my favorite mangaka (great female leads and even better male leads)). That being said, I'll break down some of the stories.
Suki ni Naru Made Matte (First one-shot):
So we have a geeky girl who is ignored and finds herself going through high school not only without a boyfriend but ultimately inconsequential. She has no friends and spends her time alone. Then unfortunately or really fortunately for her she ends up destroying the most popular, handsome, and coolest guy's, in her homeroom, phone. So she's blackmailed into hanging with him and becoming his slave. Once again this touches on an unhealthy start of a relationship but this has so much comedy that you ignore it. Plus he doesn't treat her like a slave, as found in so many others. He actually "improves" her. This of course touches on...why wasn't she good as she was...but you come to understand that he always had a thing for her. This is great because he always liked a wallflower but showed her that she wasn't in the only way he could and then in the wake of this he had a confident woman who got rid of her insecurities. So this story was a bit more developing in the blackmail front and so were the others in these one shots.
Deatta Toki ni Boku wa Mou Inai (Second one-shot):
Ahh...the ghost story. It was a nice read and I was happy it was there. Another inconsequential girl has always been admired but her admirer is now a ghost. The biggest thing for him was to get her to open up and learn to love. He succeeded. She wasn't cold hearted as she was hard hearted. She didn't want to open up and get hurt but the lead male was able to break down those walls. The lead male was fun and admirable. He had a fun loving and sweet personality and damn does he go through drama to get her love. I adored this one.
Uso to Koi no Hajimari (Third one-shot):
Just another brilliant one shot. A girl ends up pretending she's her friend to meet the old (male) playmate of said friend. The story just in and of itself is unoriginal but the story is so sweet. The lead female is so lovable and cute. It felt like she was sort of forced into taking up the position. I can tell you that I actually thought she would NOT be friends with a girl like that. The girl she was pretending to be seems popular and really pretty and totally one of the "in-crowd" cats, she seems down to earth, not so pretty just average and a good person. Anyway she takes up the role and meets a total hottie. He's like your hot next door neighbor. For old school ladies that would be John Cusack, for not old school more like Shia LaBoeuf. Uber cute and he's extremely intelligent. What makes this story so cool is the twist at the end...so it takes an unoriginal story and gives it some spice. I loved it.
1/3 no Kareshi (Fourth one-shot):
Another crush fic with a romantic pair I love (I won't tell you what that is or it will blow the story). This was the most commendable story of the bunch actually. To be honest I liked this one a great deal. I liked the lead girl who wasn't in love with any guy or crushing on any one but wanted to fall madly in love with someone and until she saw him she was an untouchable. Basically she was independent and wanted love but wasn't actively seeking it. Then we have lead guy who misles the girl (blackmail through her own stupidity) and you're wondering what he's about and where he's coming from and at times worried about his motive...and you're fairly surprised by it. The build up for this story was good with nice female lead. Not enough on the male lead to gather much info but overall it was like a reverse Itazura na Kiss with a twist. Utterly enjoyable.
I definitely recommend this read. The mangaka is phenomenal with fun stories and nice artistic skill.
I only read three of the four one shots that are part of this volume.
1/3 of a boyfriend: Honestly, I was drawn by the word kareshi in the title (sigh ever since zettai kareshi!). But it turned out to be surprisingly funny in parts. A girl who was previously popular, but has off late become lonely and unapproachable finds a compromising photo of herself taken by a cute stranger in school. Who is he? Meet him tomorrow at the same spot if she wants to find out and not have him "do as he wishes" with the incriminating picture! Other than one or two humourous expressions and scenarios though, I found it to be thouroughly mediocre. Maybe because the characters simply kissed at the end for almost no rhyme or reason.
Please wait until I fall in love: Nah, nothing special. A timid girl who is labelled "nerd" by her classmates finds herself in the position of a slave to the class hottie because she inadvertently threw his cellphone in the fishtank (which just HAPPENED to be behind her desk?! What classroom has an open tank?!). Anyway what happens when they spend more time together and why did he insist on her services in the first place anyway? Expect a bit of an image makeover and a bit of soul searching, but just a bit!
Uso to Koi no Hajimari: Uninspiring art as expected (Maybe it's just coz the "bishie" doesn't look pretty enough!) But you may recognise this storyline to be one from many cute teen flicks/romcoms. Ken chan arrives in Tokyo only to be greeted by Akane, who is pretending to be Tomoyo who doesn't want to waste her energy entertaining a childhood pal she thinks grew up to be ordinary. But he's hot, and now that Akane knows, she wants him all to herself! However, fate keeps aligning their path with Tomoyo's who may realise she's missing out on some hottie after all. What to do?! And who will Ken chan choose, the girl who is so interesting and sweet or the good looking and familiar Tomoyo? If you care enough to find out, you definitely haven't been looking around for better manga! Haha, but seriously, this story was actually good in parts and some tender exchanges between Ken chan and the heroine impart it a nice touch.read more
I haven't read a manga in a while so I decided to start again with something simple and cute at first. :D
They are short and cute stories. I am not so keen on reading the manga on which an anime was based. I don't know why, so I tend to read this kind of romantic manga. The stories were pretty enjoyable, but in my opinion I like when there is more ecchi stuff.
To be honest the art was the best thing in this manga. It's not outstanding or a masterpiece, but you can see that the author payed attention to details.
I appreciated the fact that the main girls weren't boring. They have personality. And the boys were definitely those kind of boys you only meet in a manga/anime/TV show and so on. Not a bad thing, at least for me. Sometimes that's why you read a manga... too escape from this reality.
All n'all it's a pretty enjoyable manga for its genre. read more
Suki ni Naru Made Matte: (PG rating - Kissing)
Uso to Koi no Hajimari: (G rating)
1/3 no Kareshi: (PG rating - Mild Fanservice)
Deatta Toki ni Boku wa Mouinai: (M rating - Mild Nudity)
Collection of cute comedic romance stories with a linking theme of unrequited love with a happy ending. Uso to Koi no Hajimari is my personal favourite, fluffy and sweet with matching background comedic relief. 1/3 no Kareshi has a great twist, although the ending is kind of unmemorable. Suki ni Naru Made Matte is typical and a little over-dramatic, but entertaining. Deatta Toki ni Boku wa Mouinai is an abnormal story with a twinge of smut that actually kind of continues the plot. A little. Overall, a good collection, particularly if you're in the mood for a watery smile and gushy (emotional) excitement.read more